A General Election campaign is an opportunity for politicians to reconnect with those they represent, and there were many occasions during the recent campaign when such reconnections took place.
We were canvassing on one of the estates on the periphery of the town – an estate where my great party does well if it gets half the vote. Many people were out, in which case they were favoured with some literature, forcefully making the case for Keeping Young on June 7th.
My wife was with our high-powered team of about a dozen, sweeping through the estate and raising the profile of my Party.
Getting no reply from one door, she pushed a leaflet through the letterbox. The problem began when she tried to withdraw her hand from the letterbox; she discovered that there was something attached to it, making withdrawal impossible. The discovery was accompanied a fraction of a second later by a searing pain, as small sharp teeth locked on to her index finger. Ignoring the leaflet, which was clearly inedible if not unreadable, a ferret had mistaken my wife’s finger for a newly born mouse and was seeking to inflict mortal damage to the back of its neck.
As it was securely attached, the first challenge was how to detach it. I have learnt subsequently from my ferret-loving friends that the best way to get a ferret to release an object is to apply a lighted cigarette to its mouth. This was not possible; neither I nor my wife smoke, and the logistics of pushing a lighted cigarette through the letterbox and finding the ferret’s mouth and not my wife’s finger were complex.
We tried an alternative approach. Ferrets are long and thin; but, to put the issue geometrically, the diameter of a ferret is more than the height of a letterbox. So this ferret was threatened with becoming longer and thinner as my wife tried to drag it back through the letterbox. It reflected for a moment on whether it wished to be restructured and let go. The hand was extracted, colouring the ground liberally with blood.
A brave lady, the wife thought little of it. But the wound was deep, the flow difficult to staunch, the team concerned. A quick visit to the high quality local hospital, confirmation that the tetanus jab was up to date and she was right as rain. An entry has been made on the canvass card, suggesting caution with literature delivery, come the next election.